Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Gospel According to Marc(us)

The good news, according to Dr. Marcus Bachmann, is that Christ is the Almighty Counselor. Apparently Bachmann and Associates, Inc. is the conduit for the supernatural counseling services being provided at his clinic, i.e. the Bachmann “family business”.

The best news, at least for Michele and Marcus Bachmann, is that while Christ is counseling, while Marcus is pronouncing salvation through discipline for barbarians, and while the conjugal-bearer-of-fruit, that tea party darling, is attacking the size of federal government and entitlement programs, the clinic’s coffers are being fed by federally subsidized health dollars that have flowed to their Christian counseling center. This includes $137,000 that Bachmann and Associates, Inc. have received for treating patients in Medicaid-backed programs.

NBC’s Michael Isikoff reports:

The previously unreported payments are on top of the $24,000 in federal and state funds that Bachmann & Associates, the clinic founded by Marcus Bachmann . . . received in recent years under a state grant to train its employees, state records show. The figures were provided to NBC News in response to a Freedom of Information request.
Neither Michele nor Marcus Bachmann have publically addressed this. Why? Perhaps Jesus is too busy correcting the barbarians and hasn’t had the time to speak to the Bachmann’s directly.

There are two issues to consider here.

A public duty issue: As a current public servant, and as a potential candidate seeking the highest office in the land, Michele Bachmann should do no less than to defend the First Amendment upholding the “establishment clause”. Would Michele be so silent if the same funds flowed to an Islamic counseling center, or a Scientology counseling center, or a Buddhist counseling center?

A moral issue: As adherents to the Christian Bible, Michele and Marcus Bachmann should know well the words of Jesus in his many references to hypocrites and hypocrisy. Consider one:

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Matt 23:27-29
Gospel? Good News? It’s all in the eye of the beholder!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Bachmann’s Bluff

Apart from not applying the standard punctuation for the abbreviation of Doctor of Philosophy on his website, Bachmann and Associates, Incorporated, Dr. Marcus Bachmann, a self-proclaimed Christian therapist, may be misleading more than the innocent “barbarians” who seek out his “expertise”.

The following is listed in Dr. Bachmann’s bio as part of his educational credentials:
PhD – Clinical Psychology, Union Graduate School, OH.

My first question: Does Union Graduate School exist? The answer: it did exist at one time; it doesn’t exist any more. Here is a chronology of the School’s history.

The Union Graduate School traces its origins to 1964, when a consortium headquartered at the campus of Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, included a number of schools experimenting with alternative education philosophies. In 1969 the consortium was renamed the "Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities", directing its focus toward providing educational opportunities for non-traditional students whose needs were best served by a non-residential college experience. The consortium also formed a graduate school called "The Union Graduate School", which offered a Ph.D. in Arts and Sciences.

However, in 1978, the consortium filed for bankruptcy, was later reorganized and eventually emerged from bankruptcy renamed as "The Union Institute" (1986). As the Union Institute, it continued to run its graduate school. In October, 2001, the consortium was dissolved, and The Union Institute was renamed the Union Institute & University, which began operating as a private university.

The Union Institute's Ph.D. program came under scrutiny by the Ohio Board of Regents in the late 1990s early 2000s which culminated in its 2002 Reauthorization Report. The report was critical of the Union Institute's Ph.D. program, noting in particular that " ... expectations for student scholarship at the doctoral level were not as rigorous as is common for doctoral work ... " (OBR 2002 Reauthorization Report, page 13) As a result, The Union was put on probation, the Union Graduate School was dissolved and the Ph.D. program was restructured. Formerly the Union had offered one Ph.D. program in Arts and Sciences. Its name and focus were changed and two other doctoral programs were broken out
• Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.)
• Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology

Currently, the formal title of the Union Institute and University’s Ph.D. degree is " Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies." This title and the program reflect the original idea of the consortium of offering a non-residential Ph.D. program that avoided specialization and did not take as long to complete as a traditional program (originally it took a minimum of two years to complete). While there has been some confusion in the way Ph.D.s are titled, with many Ph.D.s being represented in particular fields, the Ph.D. at the Union Institute and University is and has always been a single Ph.D. and its concentration or specialization areas should not be confused with the degree itself.

What does all this mean? On his website Dr. Bachmann states he’s had 23 years experience. Simple math brings us to the year 1988. If Dr. Bachmann’s Ph.D. was completed prior to this date, he might have graduated from The Union Graduate School which offered ONLY a Ph.D. in Arts and Sciences. If he graduated later than 1986, then he would have graduated from The Union Institute (1986), or The Union Institute and University (2001) and his Ph.D. would have been in Interdisciplinary Studies.

If in fact Dr. Marcus Bachmann graduated from this institute, whatever it was named at the time, he would not have graduated with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. The ONLY doctorate in Clinical Psychology was offered after 2001, and the degree is a Psy.D. (Doctor of Psychology) and not a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy).

In my opinion, I highly doubt that Dr. Marcus Bachmann is even a licensed Psychologist. However, at this point in time, I was unable to confirm my suspicion, as web access to the Psychology Board of Minnesota site, which is part of the State of Minnesota website has been suspended for the duration of the state government shutdown.

To err is human; to forgive divine; to mislead is simply un-Christian.